For years, the listed maximum daily dose of Extra Strength Tylenol was eight pills a day. But now, Johnson & Johnson has announced it is reducing the maximum daily dose to six pills, or a total of 3,000 mg. Labels on Extra Strength Tylenol are expected to change sometime this fall. Additionally, maximum daily doses for Regular Strength Tylenol and other adult pain relievers are expected to be reduced next year.
Two years ago, a panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration called for tighter restrictions on acetaminophen. This past January, the FDA began capping the amount of acetaminophen, the most widely used pain killer in the U.S., in Vicodin, Percocet and other pain killers. Besides Tylenol, acetaminophen is an active ingredient in NyQuil and some Sudafed products.
Scientists have concluded that excessive use of acetaminophen can cause liver damage. According to the FDA, acetaminophen is blamed for about 200 fatal overdoses and sends 56,000 people to the emergency room each year.